Open Arts Foundation was founded in 2007 in Plovdiv by Katrin and Vesselina Sarievi. It is one of the leading cultural organizations in Bulgaria, working for sustainable development and the creation of new models and practices to support the Bulgarian contemporary culture. Open Arts Foundation’s projects and activities have a wide network of partnering organizations, widespread public recognition, numerous awards and many followers and are considered as one of the main factors for the development and activation of the contemporary cultural life in Plovdiv.
The foundation develops its projects in three main programs: Night of the Museums and Galleries, City and Culture and Educational program, with each program having its own short-term or long-term sub-projects. The Foundation operates mainly in Plovdiv, with partial projects in Sofia and the country, as well as abroad. The organization works with leading experts for the development of its projects.
The Night of Museums and Galleries program is created to support and develop the cultural map of Plovdiv, the city’s cultural institutions and access to culture. The Night of Museums and Galleries Festival (known in recent years as Night/Plovdiv) takes place for the first time in Bulgaria, in Plovdiv in 2005. Like similar events in Western and Central Europe, Night/Plovdiv provides opportunities for public encounters with artists, art and culture in non-traditional evening and late night hours. With an annual program of more than 100 events and an audience between 40 000 and 50 000, the festival continues to seek new challenges and to expand its scope.
City and Culture is a program of Open Arts Foundation that examines and works with our surrounding urban environment – its history, architecture, specificity, problems and potential to be part of cultural development and awareness. It includes “Otets Paisiy St. Festival” (2010 - 2013), “Project 0” (2010 - 2014), the “City Arbor” discussion series (2012 and 2015 editions), "Alternative Map of Plovdiv” (2013) – tourist guide with little known sights and locations that are usually absent from mainstream tourist guides of Plovdiv, FLUCA: Austrian Cultural Pavilion – an innovative project for mobile cultural stage created by a cargo container and transformed into an art installation, etc.
The Educational Program of Open Arts Foundation focuses mainly on the subject of contemporary art. Among the projects in the program are the monthly newsletter with news from the Bulgarian art world and beyond artnewscafe bulletin (since 2008) and the projects organized with SARIEV Contemporary: the educational course "Introduction to Contemporary Art" (since 2011), including theme-based lecture series and workshops delivered by Bulgarian and international artists, critics and curators; the "Collectors Forum" presenting established collectors’ practices; the FOCUS: Bulgaria project at viennacontemporary 2015 – the first major presentation of Bulgarian contemporary art at international art fair; the book "Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art" (2018) by Vessela Nozharova, which is the first comprehensive history of Bulgarian art from the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century.
photo: Merian Nikolova photo: Silvia Georgieva
Presentation of the book “Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art”
Sofia City Art Gallery, 11 June 2018
Detmag Snezhanka, opening during NIGHT/Plovdiv 2017
Exhibition “10 years Open Arts: HERE EVERYWHERE”
photo: Merian Nikolova
photo: Silvia Georgieva